Using Spatial Information for Better Decision Making
The proliferation of location intelligence mapping for business across a number of major industries makes clear the compelling nature of its potential for guiding businesses in the right direction. These systems’ ability to predict and anticipate future trends and behaviors makes them an invaluable tool for business and strategy leaders across the globe. According to the Dresner Advisory Services’ 2020 Research, “53 percent of enterprises say that Location Intelligence is either critically important or very important to achieving their goals for 2020.”
What Is Location Intelligence?
Location intelligence is the collection and analysis of geospatial data to create insights and knowledge for making critical business decisions. This could be in the form of map-based visualisations, map dashboards, navigation through mapping, layered visualizations, multi-layer support and custom region definitions. Generally, insight is created through an interactive map interface overlaid by relevant data points.
These insights can then inform users of anything from historical to predicted buyer behavior and regional risk identification. Visualizing location intelligence data can help retailers identify the best places to set up shop, and also inform healthcare providers of where their services are most needed, or where vulnerable populations are based. For insurance companies, it provides critical insight into the relative risks associated with a given area or location. Marketing departments can use these systems to understand everything from where to place their advertising to the likelihood of certain demographics to engage with their brand.
“When we began covering Location Intelligence in 2014, we saw the potential for the topic to gain mainstream interest. With the growth in visualization and the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), incorporating maps and location into business analyses have become increasingly important to many organizations.” Howard Dresner, founder, and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services.
The Power of Platform Integration
The Dresner report found that 61 percent of the companies surveyed saw Google integration as an essential component of their location intelligence mapping, as it represents one of the most powerful sources of GIS data. ESRI, with their ArcGIS software and apps which “combine mapping and data analytics to deliver location intelligence and meet digital transformation needs for organizations of all sizes” came in as second with 45 percent of respondents prioritizing it for their location intelligence strategies. Other platforms such as Aspectum Location Intelligence, Alteryx, Microsoft, Qlik, SAS, and Tableau are also increasingly popular.
Integrating these platforms allows organizations to create tailored interfaces that combine all the data they need to make better decisions, create meaningful long-term strategies and solve complex problems. Modern software for location-related analysis also allows non-technical experts to interrogate and interpret the information output, meaning that all departments can work from the same consistent and reliable sources. This leads to better aligned and focused objectives, projects, and deliverables.